Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 657
http://news.yahoo.com...­

Woo hoo! Let's all get charring!

"I feel confident that the (carbon storage) time of stable biochar is from high hundreds to a few thousand years," said Cornell University's Johannes Lehmann, at an event on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in the Polish city of Poznan. Lehmann cited experiments on 10 farm crops suggesting biochar can also increase yields by up to three times, because the organic matter holds on to nutrients.

David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 287
All the outdoor branches, weeds and other crap in my yard go in my fire pits and often smolder because of the density of the weeds etc. I mix it up with dirt in the bottom of the pit using my mantis tiller and use it as soil amendment. Similar?

David
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 665
Yup. The archaeologists 1000 years from now (assuming, well, alot of things) will be in a quandry about the "dark soils of washington maine."
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 833
An important reminder about biochar from a note written by Dave Jacke:

"Not sure it matters where in the [sheetmulch] stack you put the biochar. Probably more important is whether you charge the char with nutrients before adding it to the soil. If you don’t, the evidence is that the charcoal will absorb nutrients from the soil and can cause deficiencies in the plants until the nutrient balance is restored. I recommend mixing char with compost or soaking it in urine or compost tea for a few days before applying it.

From what I have heard, even if you apply charcoal to the soil surface the soil organisms will mix it in for you over time."

Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 98
http://www.bangordail...­

I dont know if this has been posted here yet... but its quite interesting and its from right here in Maine. Perhaps we could get this guy to share some of his information with our group?
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 834
great article! we should try to connect with him!

"George has experimented with application rates and determined that lower levels, around two ounces per square foot of soil (125 pounds per 1,000 square feet) work best in terms of soil nutrient levels and plant growth. Higher rates result in excessive nitrogen and potassium levels. He has also noticed improved soil structure with use of biochar."
Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 99
great article! we should try to connect with him!

"George has experimented with application rates and determined that lower levels, around two ounces per square foot of soil (125 pounds per 1,000 square feet) work best in terms of soil nutrient levels and plant growth. Higher rates result in excessive nitrogen and potassium levels. He has also noticed improved soil structure with use of biochar."

I thought that the quote you posted was pretty weird, i just can not imagine that you could produce EXCESS nitrogen and potassium by adding so little char. I guess it would really depend on how you treated it beforehand...
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 10
Hi everyone, just fishing for ideas. This winter I've pulled about a yard of biochar from my woodstove. I'm planning on putting it all through my compost bins, but before I do that I'd like to screen out the bigger pieces and crush them. It's a lot of volume so I'm looking for ideas that are free/cheap and don't use up all my spare time. I was thinking of putting volumes of char on a tarp on my stone drive way and just driving over it, then screening and driving and screening and driving... Will this ruin my tires? Other ideas?
Lori P.
LoriPower
Portland, ME
Post #: 35
I don't know about driving over it, but I am interested in fishing some out of my woodstove (and soaking it in urine!). We make a lot of ash, is the char in the form of logs that were burned but not completely burned to ash? little chunks of charcoal?
A former member
Post #: 13
We made biochar at Earth Activist Training. The key is completely anaerobic combustion. I question if the average wood stove does the trick. We enclosed straw and twigs in a sager made of two #10 cans and heated them in our celebration bonfire. As the oxygen in the can burned off and flared, the content turned to bio char. I do the same with sawdust trash can pottery firing. Even that is questionable as too much oxygen. I know just enough about biochar to have a million questions. And to imagine: GMO cornfields in Iowa fed into a crucible and spread under a million square miles of sheet mulch!
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